"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

The Parkland shooting

The shooting deaths – in reading the description, the sense you get is almost that of an execution – of four Lakewood police officers near Parkland this morning has become national news. The Tacoma News Tribune sums up: “The gunman walked into the shop and shot two of the Lakewood officers as they sat down. The other two officers stood up. One officer was killed. The fourth officer fought the gunman and may have injured him.” A person of interest has been noted publicly (though he has not been named a suspect), but not an arrest as yet.

Something approaching execution seems to have been the case here. The TNT points out in its editorial that in the last 30 years up to today, four officers in total in large Pierce County had been killed.

This wasn’t a heat of the moment situation; the officers were not out on the street but in a diner and there simply to have a meal. You almost have to conclude that they were gunned down solely because they were wearing the uniform at the same moment and in the same place that a person had both the weaponry and emotional motivation to go after them.

That’s got to be spooky for any other police officers, who usually are understandably cautious in dealing with calls and incidents but probably have felt they could relax a bit otherwise. It may spook anyone who wears a uniform.

Here’s hoping this shooter is caught quickly. Name, face, motivation and explanation are needed in short order, even more than usual.

THE HUCKABEE LINK Is this a national political story too? From Huffington Post: “A convicted felon granted clemency nine years ago by former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is wanted for questioning in the shooting deaths of four police officers in Washington state. Maurice Clemmons, the man wanted for questioning, has been convicted of five felonies in Arkansas and has been charged with eight felonies in Washington state.”

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